How Smoking Affects Your Skin

Not only does smoking affect your health, it also affects your skin. Cigarette smoke damages skin where it can affect the appearance as well as the smokers life. Here are some ways how smoking affects your skin.

Premature aging of facial skin

 “Smoker’s lines” are the vertical lines around the mouth that come from pursing lips to draw a cigarette over and over again. Crow’s feet, which are wrinkles that appear at the outer edges of the eyes and are more common in smokers as the damage starts much earlier than for non-smokers. Collagen and elastin damage is a big factor of premature aging of skin.

Skin Cancer

If you smoke, the chances of developing squamous cell carcimona are higher than for those who don’t smoke. This is the second most common form of skin cancer and often appears on the lips of smokers. Peoples immune systems can be weakened by the toxins that are in cigarette smoke.


Psoriasis is a skin condition that produces red, itchy patches on your body. Stress can bring it on, but smoking is also a risk factor. Nicotine affects the immune system, skin inflammation, and skin cell growth, all of which can contribute to the development of psoriasis. Smoking can double the risk of developing psoriasis, with the risk going up depending on the amount of cigarettes you smoke.

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Wound Healing

Vascular constriction caused by toxins in cigarette smoke has a negative effect on wound healing, the lack of blood flow slows the body’s ability to repair itself. Smoking also increases the risk of wound infection, skin graft failure, and blood clot formation. Scars can tend to be more pronounced as well.

Skin Tone and Staining

The lack of oxygen to skin cells plays a part in why this occurs, along with the negative effects of toxins in the cigarette smoke. The skin can turn uneven and tend to be more orange/ grey. Years of holding the cigarette between the same fingers can lead to the yellowing of skin from tar. This type of staining is nearly impossible to remove with soap and water, the only way to really get rid of it is to stop smoking.